In the summer session of 1943, Gene’s best friend Phineas fell out of a tree, shattering his leg and tragically ending his successful athletic reputation. Though the event happened to Phineas, Gene is no longer able to be at peace with the past, subsequently changing his personality and actions of the present. Prior to Phineas’ accident, he and Gene had become increasingly close. In this time, Gene became envious of Phineas, both of his carefree attitude and his extraordinary athletic ability. This is shown when Phineas beats one of Devon’s athletic records but does not tell anyone about it… Was he trying to impress me or something?
After Finny falls from the tree that generated him to break his leg and causes him not to be able to play football ever again. While Gene knows he is guilty, he wants to confess to Finny that it was he who shook the tree, but does not have the valor to tell him the truth, and since Gene will not tell Finny, Finny tells everyone that his injury was caused by him losing his balance and fell off the tree. Then after a while, Gene finally tries to tell Finny that it was he that shook the tree, but Finny won’t believe him and continues to believe it was him losing his balance. Then comes Brinker that assembles everybody to tell Finny that it was Gene that shook the tree, but then they start saying that Gene did it on purpose. Finny could not stand being there with everyone, so he tries to leave the assembly, unfortunately, as Finny tries to go down the stairs, he falls down and breaks his leg again, and was rushed to the doctor.
But as the same things go on Gene starts to feel that Finny is out to wreck his studies, so in result of that he pushes Finny out of a tree and shatters his leg. Gene doesn’t know if he did it on purpose or if it was an accident. But, later on Finny breaks his leg even more and Gene goes to visit him and talk things out. Finny forgives Gene for the incident makes Gene go on with his life, but Gene later finds out the Finny has died from a bone marrow that got into his blood stream and into his heart. He then feels that his war with everything is over.
I’ll never forget that because the tree was a huge black shape too, and his hand touching the black trunk anchored him, if you see what I mean, to something solid in all the bright fire they were standing in up there .And the other one was a little further out on the limb” (Knowles 105).Finny was hurt when he finds out Gene caused the accident and lied about it. He was so angry from the information that was told to him he left and fell down the stairs, causing an even bigger accident. Finny dies from the accident and Gene loses apart of himself in the process
The moment that Phineas falls from the tree symbolizes when Gene falls from innocence. Gene’s loss of innocence is demonstrated by his intent to hurt Phineas, the change from summer to winter, and the Devon students’ involvement in World War II. Finny’s fall is symbolic of a fall from innocence. To start, Gene’s belief that Finny was trying to sabotage his education evokes doubt about their friendship. In order to outdo Finny, Gene “…took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb.
Harry, though, is dying of gangrene in his leg. He and his wife are stuck in the plains while he is dying. Their truck had broken down on their trip because the mechanic hadn’t done his job correctly. The more Helen tries to console Harry about their situation the more Harry puts her down. He thinks about all of his accomplishments in the past, wanting to accomplish his most desired task of writing about all of his admired adventures.
Ponyboy is so lost in the situation he does not know what to do. ”Hearing this, Ponyboy protests: “I had the knife. I killed Bob”. When Randy tries to set him straight, Ponyboy gets upset. He insists that he killed Bob and that Johnny is not dead.
Ralph dives out of the way and dodges it, but Piggy does not react fast enough. The boulder crushes Piggy and kills him. Both of these events represent an end to the small portion of rationality living amongst the boys. After rationality is wiped out from their communities, savagery and evil arise. The theme of inner savagery plays a very prominent role in both novels.
Dealing with “survivor’s guilt”, the younger son, Conrad, attempts to kill himself and fails; the aftermath destroys the entire family. Conrad, Beth, and Calvin all bear a tremendous weight, causing them to neglect to utilize proper conflict management (such as mutual purpose), exercise unhealthy management (such as silence and violence), and eventually escalate a problem that could have been solved. The
Finny did forgive Gene for jouncing the limb and not being there for him when he fell down the staircase in Devon like a good friend would have. Gene would grieve for a long time without getting Finny’s forgiveness, for he felt very guilty. He got Finny’s remission before he passed away sadly. “Now I knew that there never was and never could have been any rivalry between us” (59). Gene realizes that the accusations in his mind about Finny trying to sabotage him were false.